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INC forum for BOCC candidates on Thursday, as endorsements begin

We're gearing up for election season! What's that you say? Yeah, we just had elections in November. No, we don't live in I-oh-way or New Hampster. And yes, we know the general election is in the fall. 

But given that Durham is bluer-than-blue, the Democratic primary in March will decide... well, straight-up, the Board of County Commissioners race, plus the one contested slot on the Board of Education.

Thursday night, Durham's InterNeighborhood Council (INC) will host a candidate forum for the candidates in next month's Board of County Commissioners race.

Ten candidates are invited to sit in the BOCC's seats; only five will be moving on to a seat on the county's legislative body.

The forum will be held in the County Commissioners Chambers, 200 East Main Street, second floor. Doors open at 6:30pm, with the forum starting at 7:00pm and ending at 9:00pm.

If you can't make it and haven't joined the legion of cord-cutters yet -- well, the Durham Television Network (DTN) will hold the forum live as well.

We'll be there and will have the highlights and lowlights after.

If its election season, it's also endorsement time, and local bodies are beginning to give their nods and recommendations for various candidates.

Durham's People's Alliance (PA) has released their County Commissioners endorsements, and to no one's surprise, the progressive action committee has endorsed a slate that would bring significant change to the board, if elected.

Incumbents Fred Foster, Brenda Howerton and Michael Page all failed to earn the PA's nod at the group's all-members-invited endorsement meeting on Thu., Jan. 24.

Instead, the PA tipped their hat to incumbents Wendy Jacobs and Ellen Reckhow, along with three challengers:

  • Elaine Hyman, current vice-chair of the City-County Planning Commission, and a former Durham County and EPA staffer;
  • Heidi Carter, current chair of the school board;
  • James Hill, a former Durham Human Relations Commission member, PA board member and PAC leader.

Relations between Durham progressives generally and the PA in particular and some of the BOCC's longer-serving members, notably Page and Howerton, have been chilled ever since the 751 South conflagration a few years ago.

Foster, but not Howerton or Page, earned the PA's nod in 2012, when the group only endorsed three candidates for the BOCC. (Both Page and Howerton were endorsed by the PA in 2008, back when 751 South was a Mapquest direction and not an epithet among progressives.)

Among other local races, the PA also endorsed Steve Unruhe in his, the only contested school board election; and, recommends longtime Register of Deeds office employee Sharon Davis in that election.

We haven't been able to confirm other groups' endorsements yet; more on those when we have them.


Tom Miller

Actually, Kevin, PA PAC endorsed four BOCC candidates in the 2012 primary elections. Anyway, everyone should attend the INC forum.

Tom Miller
for PA PAC

Kevin Davis

Quite right - four in the primary, three in the general. Thanks for the correction.

Holly Jordan

Here are the Durham Association of Educators' endorsements for school board and county commission:

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